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Macbeth - Who is the most to blame for King Duncan's death?

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Who is the most to blame for King Duncan's death? William Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" is a tragedy about a man named Macbeth, whose ambition was to become King. In Shakespeare's time, the Elizabethan period of history, witchcraft was taken very seriously. Dozens of people, mostly women, were executed or burned at the stake as witches. During the opening of the second scene it commences in the middle of a battle involving Scotland and Macdonwald. King Duncan enters to have a look at what's happening. Immediately he asks who is the injured person he sees before him, "What bloody man is that?" referring to the Captain. The Captain then comments on how courageous and well he battled, "for brave Macbeth- he deserves that name- disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution". King Duncan attempts to repay Macbeth for fighting so well by honouring him with the title of Thane of Cawdor. This is due to the fact that King Duncan's former Thane of Cawdor betrayed him and pronounces the death sentence on him "no more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive our bosom interest. ...read more.


At this time in history witches were considered evil so the 'noble' Macbeth should have known better. During the fourth scene Macbeth is officially told that he is the Thane of Cawdor and writes to his wife, Lady Macbeth, informing her of what the witches had said about him becoming the Thane of Cawdor. At this point Macbeth starts to become ambitious in his thoughts as Duncan names Malcolm as his successor as Prince of Cumberland, "Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter The Prince Of Cumberland" Macbeth returns home and tells Lady Macbeth that Duncan is going to be staying for the night. Lady Macbeth immediately thinks of a plan for Macbeth to kill King Duncan and become King. In order for her to do this she asks the three witches to unsex her, "come on you mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood". This makes Lady Macbeth a more evil person than she already is and can really convince Macbeth to kill King Duncan without Lady Macbeth having to do it and making herself feel bad. ...read more.


Also due to the fact that that when Macbeth is on his way to go and kill Duncan he pictured a dagger leading him on, "is this a dagger I see before me?" In reality he is just hallucinating before the scene of the crime. There is a possibility that this was part of the witches magic, their predictions earlier in the tragedy began the downfall of Macbeth. The witches also unsexed Lady Macbeth so it enabled her to persuade Macbeth into killing King Duncan. The most influential force on Macbeth, which ultimately leads to his death, is in my opinion, that of the three witches. Without their influence and that of the dark forces of evil, connected with them, Macbeth may have never considered murdering his King. It is the witches' predictions which sow the seeds of possibility, which fuel Macbeth's desires and ambitions at the beginning of the tragedy. That is not necessarily to say that the witches' prophecies were true, but simply that they ignited the dark, ambitious nature of Macbeth. It is also quite possible that the "dagger of the mind" is a creation of the witches designed to influence his behaviour and urge him on. Fabio Quadrozzi Ms Egan ...read more.

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